Rising Stars: Young Entrepreneurs to Shine at Spotlight

For the first time ever, Highland Spotlight will include a dedicated zone for young entrepreneurs. Inverness Chamber of Commerce and Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highlands (DYWICH) have come together to create the first young entrepreneur zone, Rising Stars at Highland Spotlight. It comes as part of a commitment from both organisations to support young entrepreneurs in achieving their business goals, creating a platform that allows them to showcase their products and services and how they are contributing to our local economy.

The zone will allow talented young business owners across the Highland region to exhibit at this dedicated business to business event, providing them with the ideal springboard to make new connections and explore new opportunities.

During the day, young entrepreneurs will also get the chance to network with other exhibitors, meet potential new customers, and attend a workshop hosted by DYWICH with presentations from various partners and support agencies.

Clare Armstrong, Head of Membership at Inverness Chamber of Commerce said “We’ve been delighted at the interest we have had for the zone and we’ve got a great mix of new businesses exhibiting all run by young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35.

“We are looking to launch a new young entrepreneurs membership category later in the year and this will be an ideal opportunity for us to speak with young business owners to get their thoughts and views of the kind of support they might need and help us to shape this.”

Sandra McCaughey, Interim Programme Manager at Developing the Young Workforce Inverness & Central Highlands said, “Through the work we do in schools across Inverness & Central Highlands we know that young people are more entrepreneurial than ever before, and many of them will go on to start their own businesses. They are the future, and we are keen to do all we can to support them and help them to reach their potential. As well as co-hosting the Young Entrepreneur Zone with Inverness Chamber, we will also be introducing Rising Stars entrepreneurial workshops. Several of the young entrepreneurs attending Spotlight this year will be going into schools across the region to share their experiences of setting up their own businesses and inspire pupils to take that first step.”

The Young Entrepreneurs and their businesses exhibiting in the zone in its first year include:

Stefan Quarry, owner of Highland Domes who design, build and deliver geodesic greenhouses across the Highlands and Islands.

Ciara Bow, owner of Gledfield Distillery, a new craft distillery based in Ardgay who are launching a range of botanical spirits inspired by her founder’s great, great, grandmother Marjorie MacBeath who was born in the 1800s and carried out illicit distilling on her Sutherland croft.

Aleksandra Czech-Seklecka, owner of VanFill Ltd, a mobile application helping individuals and businesses to lower costs of transporting their goods and reducing carbon footprint.

Caoimhe Simpson, owner of Timeless Salon, a boutique award-winning salon in the heart of Inverness which offers a range of beauty, hair and makeup services, providing first class customer service and high-quality treatments to clients at affordable prices.

Nyomi Dixon, owner of Whisk Away Café & Gift Shop in Inverness. Whisk away use local suppliers for all their meats, breads, teas and coffees and are passionate about quality and authenticity. The gift shop showcases products from local crafters and Whisk Away also provide outdoor catering.

Sophie Wink & Laura Walker, owners of Vivid Roots Collective, a theatre company based in the Highlands, creating opportunities for and supporting the professional development of emerging and early-career and/or Highland-based theatre-makers.

Molly McGhee, owner of Molly’s Mixes, who provide jelly candy mixes thoughtfully crafted with bags of sensational taste. Their precision mixes, product sustainability and ethical packaging are fore most and their goal is to be the finest Pick’N’Mix experience for kids and for the young at heart.

Thomas Eccles, owner at Fly Highland, Scotland’s community owned airline, connecting the Highland & Islands with affordable lifeline air services.

Sandie Gordon, owner at Candles from the Croft, a small business with sustainability at its heart based on a working croft producing hand poured home fragrances including candles, diffusers, wax melts, hand/wash sets, gift sets and subscriptions.

Dimitri Andreas, owner of the Highland Coffee Academy, who offer professional barista training for all skill levels and a range of workshops from basic barista skills to advanced latte art. They are passionate about elevating the coffee offering in the Highlands and supporting local businesses by equipping them with the skills to drive coffee quality.

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